Mon. Jan 27th, 2020

Macron says Anti-Semitism at worst levels since WWII

Anti-Semitism has reached a deplorable level in France. The president of that country, Emmanuel Macron, denounced that the resurgence of anti-Semitism is comparable to that experienced in World War II. During a speech before the representative council of the Jewish institutions of the country (CRIF), the president regretted that the hate speech is killing his country again.

According to Macron, this resurgence of anti-Semitism is observed not only in France but also “in the whole of Europe and almost all Western democracies.” The president affirmed that his government will adopt in its reference texts a definition of anti-Semitism that will include anti-Zionism, although the Penal Code will not be modified, and that his cabinet will propose concrete actions to achieve the dissolution of three far-right associations.

“I have asked the Minister of the Interior to initiate the procedures to dissolve the associations or groups that by their behavior feed hate, promote discrimination and call for violent action,” he said. According to preliminary information, the three organizations targeted by the authorities are Bastion Social, Blood and Honor Hexagone, and Combat 18, all from the far right. Read also: France mobilized against anti-Semitism

The recent attacks on Jews in France have alerted the movements that promote hate speech. On Saturday, the intellectual Alain Finkielkraut was harassed when he was recognized on the sidelines of a protest demonstration, and at least one man shouted at him “Zionist”, while on Tuesday 96 graves from a Jewish cemetery in the East of the country were vandalized and marked with swastikas.

A few days before, portraits of Simone Veil, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp and emblematic figure of French political life, had been disfigured with swastikas. See also: Eighteen graves of Jewish cemetery in France were desecrated

One of the struggles that the government hopes to face in order to confront anti-Semitism is found on digital platforms. Macron’s cabinet will present a bill in May to force internet platforms to act against hate messages published by their users, forcing them to withdraw them quickly and identify the authors.

The Secretary of State for digital activity, Mounir Mahjoubi, explained on Thursday that the platforms will have some “human and technological” media obligations to be able to locate such messages and suppress them, but also to reach those who have put them online to that they have to answer to justice.

“We will be able to catch them one by one and sanction them,” he explained in an interview to the “France Info” station Mahjoubi, who noted that social networks or servers now take weeks or months because they do not have an obligation of results, which is what that they will be imposed under the threat of fines.

The draft law will be drafted by Deputy Laetitia Avia, from La Republica en Marcha, the party of the president. According to the first elements that have been leaked, the deadline to remove the criminal contents will be 24 hours and the fines could reach one million euros.

Mahjoubi developed the announcements made on Wednesday evening Macron, during the annual dinner of the Representative Council of the Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF), to stop the tug of anti-Semitic acts that has been observed last year, and very particularly in the last days.

Macron advanced that will be imposed “sanctions to the digital society” and that the objective is “to be able to prohibit the presence in a social network of people guilty of racist and anti-Semitic declarations, as the violent fans in the stadiums are prohibited”. Although he ruled out a general ban on anonymity on the Internet, he said he wants “sentences to be published for racist and anti-Semitic acts.”

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